We have confirmed that all states have agreed that agriculture and suppliers of essential services to agriculture will be categorised as essential services.

As we all work together during these challening times, NHIA have gathered some important information concerning our industry. 

The situation we're facing as an industry is unprecedented and changing at a pace we are working to keep up with.  This page will be updated as information becomes available.

When checking back please refresh your browser to ensure you are seeing the most recent updates.


NHIA recommends that members adopt the following guidelines in client interactions and during farm, supplier and client visits. Click here for the recommendations.


Australian Dairy Farmers share the governments advice on the stimulus package. Link Here.




If you are looking to get technicians in from overseas make sure they have applied for their visa.

If their visa is close to expiry they can call the department to see if their application can be rushed.

Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner.

Please refer to link below and click ALL OTHERS:


Note: Our industry is seeking technicians for their critical skills


The overseas technician would then need to apply here:


Above is where they would tick compelling and compassionate reason

To support their application they would also have to submit with this application the following:

  • Contract
  • Detailed letter from Employer stating why they are critical (this document is crucial to the process and requires a detailed explanation)
  • History or proof of prior employment if they have worked in Australia before


The Department confirmed the easiest to get in are people from New Zealand but anyone can apply.

Note: they will need to quarantine on arrival for 14 days and probably quarantine back home as well.

As these rules are continuously changing monitor the progress of the application to see what else may be required. 

Please let the NHIA office know if any isssues arise during the application process.

Department of Home Affairs Contact Number 131 881


State Border Closures and the process to Operate as an Essential Service Provider | Provider of Critical Skills

- To Continue Business in South Australia

Please use the industry template to continue business in South Australia and follow this four (4) step process:
Step One: Fill in the details on the word document (download here ) and give it to the employee crossing the border.
Step Two: Attach Schedule 1 to support letter and refer to 5(1) and 5(2) (download here).
Step Three: Also attach the records of close contact (download here) for a 14 day period commencing from date of arrival (or if in SA for a shorter time keep schedule for entire visit). A close contact person is: being in an enclosed space with someone for 2 hours or longer; within 1.5 metres of a person for 15 minutes or longer, retain the record for 28 days and provide the form to an authorised officer if requested.  
Step Four: Please also have available the information of the property you are travelling to and that properties identification code.

- To Continue Business in Tasmania

You would apply as being an essential services provider of “Specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses.  Any specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where the appropriate skills are not available in Tasmania, where the service is time-critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in Tasmania”.  Click the link here.

- To Continue Business in Western Australia

Step One: Fill in the details on the word document (download here) and give it to the employee crossing the border.

Step Two: Fill in the Western Australia Form. Click the link here to download.

Note that in Essential Traveller Status section of the form tick “Specialist Skills”. In the box below write “As per the definition (j), I am employed in providing artificial breeding services for the cattle industry and are therefore “ A person who is employed or engaged in agricultural or primary industry that requires the person to be physically present in Western Australia “

NHIA Member Services Update during COVID-19:

  • Supply of Ln2: BOC has implemented new cleaning procedures on cylinders but there will be no changes to bulk deliveries. In order to limit health risks for NHIA members and their drivers, BOC will be enforcing appropriate social distancing protocols upon delivery and pick up.
  • Fuel cards: These can be used in the usual way with no interruption to service.
  • Methylated Spirits: NHIA understands that supply will continue in the usual way but orders may experience a short delay.
  • Milk Testing Samples: At this stage NHIA has been advised that there will be no change to the way reference samples are dealt with.
  • Vehicle Hire: Intrastate vehicle hire is unaffected. We expect that restrictions will be put in place for interstate vehicle hire i.e. where a vehicle is hired in one state and crosses a state border during the hire period.
  • NHIA materials: AI Manuals | Docket Books | Wallcharts -These can be ordered as usual through NHIA will be delivered in the usual way.

Other Links:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Are your staff trained to recoginise what are the signs of the virus and how to minimise its spread . Short online training tool available. Click here.

National Coronavirus Helpline Phone Number: 1800 020 080.  The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.